“Republican” As A Synonym For Coward


Just as I predicted:

Christian groups break with GOP over Syrian refugees

Faith-based groups, who play a key role in resettling refugees to the United States, say they are dismayed by the wave of anti-refugee fervor set off by the Paris terrorist attacks and are urging supporters to contact elected officials on behalf of victims of the Syrian civil war.

Many of you may not know this but Southern Beale works with refugees. It’s been my job for the past two years. So when I hear Tennessee Republicans like Glen Casada say such repulsive things as,

“We need to activate the Tennessee National Guard and stop them from coming in to the state by whatever means we can. I’m not worried about what a bureaucrat in D.C. or an unelected judge thinks. … We need to gather (Syrian refugees) up and politely take them back to the ICE center and say, ‘They’re not coming to Tennessee, they’re yours.'”

… it really makes me want to punch that guy in the face. Really, the amount of ignorance and hate on display in such comments just boggles the mind. It’s like they’re in a race to see who can be the most despicable human being.

My students have told me stories here and there, so I’ve gained a little perspective  about what it’s like to be a refugee. One thing that’s clear is how hard it is to come to the United States; you don’t just get handed a ticket and land in Nashville. There is a tremendous amount of uncertainty. Some of my students have spent years in refugee camps. When they finally do make it through the arduous process, many of them don’t even know where they’re going. One of my students was first sent to Los Angeles, was immediately redirected to Idaho (Idaho!), was there for just two days (two days!), before then being sent on to Nashville. So  I think stories like this one are not unusual, current events notwithstanding.

Republicans are playing to their fearful, nativist, xenophobic base. I don’t for a second think that they believe the crap that they’re spewing. They’re just trying to gin up a response, and fear is their go-to emotion. Keeping people scared is what they do. Last year it was Ebola, this year it’s refugees. Republicans are the “OMG WE’RE ALL GONNA DIIIIIIE!” party.

What they don’t seem to know is that a large majority of the groups helping refugees navigate these uncertain waters are Christian. Organizations like World Relief, Catholic Charities, and Church World Service are all involved in refugee resettlement. That’s because once upon a time, Christians were interested in more than just abortion and gay marriage. They knew that Leviticus didn’t just have something to say about gay sex, but also about not mistreating foreigners, “for you were foreigners in Egypt.” So as Republicans race to the bottom vilifying people fleeing war in Syria, they’re also pissing off another large contingent of their base.

We’ve seen this all before. It’s an election year, they want to appeal to the lowest common denominator of their base, so they tweak that amygdala,  instead of trying to appeal to the better elements in their party. And come the next post-mortem, Republicans will continue to wonder why they’re perceived as the party that doesn’t care about people. Same as it ever was.

“Republican” is a synonym for coward. Not just because they’re scared shitless of everything — Muslim refugees, Ebola nurses, married gay people, you name it. But because they’re too scared to be anything else.


Filed under conservatives, Current Events, fear, Housekeeping, immigration, rants, Tennessee, Tennessee politics

10 responses to ““Republican” As A Synonym For Coward

  1. Duke of Clay

    I really would like to comment, but you’ve really said it all. All I can do is offer a hearty “AMEN!!” [Yes, I’m a recovering Southern Baptist.]

  2. Yes, SB and they are all cowards and are promoting FEAR and loathing of anyone who MIGHT be Muslim. I have good friends here who work with and help refugees and immigrants. The GOP is building a campaign against ALL who are from other countries…This is 2002 all over again. The Bush Cheney Wars DESTROYED IRAQ and ISIS is the result.

  3. Same as they ever were…

    • G S Herscher

      Well said SB!
      What to me is most disturbing about all this is that so far not
      one republican of stature has called these rabble rousers out.
      Can’t GHW Bush speak?
      I don’t know the political persuasion of the president of Notre Dame,
      for example, but surely he and people in similar positions around our country should feel the need to stamp this stuff out. Add the moderators of the Presbyterian synods to the list.
      And yet I’ve not heard of it happening.
      The French seem to be taking it all much more reasonably than some of us.
      And the TV networks are adding fuel to the fire. Ratings, you know.
      G Herscher

  4. jamie

    How to know a nation of character, unblinded by fear, that refuses to bow down to terrorists or discard their moral sense:
    “French President Francois Hollande declared on Wednesday that his country would accept 30,000 Syrian refugees over next two years. He announced this at a gathering of mayors from French cities, where he received a standing ovation.” (Washington Post)

    • Kathleen

      First of all, thank you SB for this post and the great work that you do. You are an angel of light in these dark times on so many levels.
      Second, what I always find amazing about The Depends Party and their tantrums is that the people who actually live in the areas that are attacked – New York, Boston, Paris – by and large don’t engage in heated fear rhetoric. They grieve and take care of business. The people who live far away from them immediately wet their pants. Since when did the right wing care about Commie liberal surrender cheese monkeys in Massachusetts, New York and Paris?

      • To your point, France is still letting in 30,000 Syrian refugees.

        Meanwhile, these guys were just nabbed … and guess what, they weren’t posing as refugees! The refugee screening process is pretty rigorous and time consuming. These are the folks you LEAST need to worry about.

  5. Excellent and timely post. My church sponsored a Vietnamese family forty years ago. Earlier this month, that family all came to church and provided a substantial donation to be used to help refugees. It was left entirely up to our church to decide which refugees to help. The Vietnamese family consisted of several prominent men and women who came here as children, their mother and many grand-children. I saw it, I saw it with my own two eyes. This idea of Americans bringing together a common culture from many different sources is not new.

    We’re all Americans, right?

    I have also had the privilege of witnessing several Mexican, Central American and Pacific Islander people obtain their American citizenship.

  6. Pingback: Thoughtlessness | From Pine View Farm

  7. But, but…if we let allathem damned furriners in, it will keep us from going…, oh wait, l’ll get back to you…